Instruction Methods

How many of us have been through those torturous training sessions where the instructor stands with their back to the class, or sits among us, reading endless text from a computer presentation? Ever notice how many people read faster than the instructor? Actually, the average person can read about 250 words a minute to themselves (some as high as 400). Trainers reading aloud do so at about 120 words per minute (some as high as 150). So right off the bat we are faced with too much cognitive noise; what we’re reading to ourselves clashes with what the trainer is reading aloud. 

Then there’s the added problem when a participant has read ahead only to be dragged back by the trainer to some point in the middle of the slide. The interruption puts the participant on a hunting trip, looking to find the spot on the slide. Frustration can mount and before long learning efforts can cease. At the very least fatigue sets in.  

The trainers in these settings are the ones who do it to us.

Lectures on the other hand, especially those following Migashco’s TAP method, can be engaging. Depending on the trainer, they can inform and inspire. Depending on learner preferences, they can be stimulating. Depending on the content, they can fun. 

By themselves though lectures can fall short. They can be solitary events with little in the way of validation - except for a short-term memory test. These lecturing trainers usually do it for us.


Training events are often better served with the lecture style punctuating a far more interactive methodology … the learner-centred activity. Here the lecture acts as the validation to an activity the entire class has engaged in. 

The trainer begins these events by offering up a simulation, an affinity exercise, a case, or a probing question, and the class works in groups to address it. Their findings are presented and these are followed up by a brief presentation or lecture reviewing the results. In these events the interactive trainers do it with us.

© migashco, 2014

© 2011  Michael C Kelly